The dual language immersion model integrates the best of bilingual education for all students: Native Spanish speakers develop literacy in their first language before acquiring their second, resulting in higher proficiency in both. Non-Spanish speakers are immersed in learning Spanish beginning in Kindergarten, when their brains are most suited to learn a second language. Teachers adjust instruction for children at different levels of language fluency and literacy, and all students emerge from 5th grade fully bilingual and bi-literate in Spanish and English. Research has consistently shown that students who develop two languages early on exhibit elevated levels of academic and cognitive functioning, including enhanced problem solving, reasoning, and communication.
We use a “90/10” immersion model, meaning that in Kindergarten 90% of the day is taught in Spanish by a highly qualified, credentialed teacher, fluent in both Spanish and English. The children may speak or respond in either language, but the teacher will speak only Spanish 90% of the day. The teacher guides students to correct vocabulary, pronunciation, and sentence structure by modeling and by creating authentic opportunities for students to use the target language. Spanish instruction decreases and English instruction increases by 10% percent each year, until the program is 50-50 by 4th grade.